‘Do not stop Insulin’: Doctors call out Patanjali’s ‘anti-allopathy’ ad

What baffled doctors the most was the claim that Patanjali was successful in completely curing type 1 diabetes “for the first time in the world”.
An image of Baba Ramdev as well as the Patanjali advertisement
An image of Baba Ramdev as well as the Patanjali advertisement
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Despite being warned by authorities in the past about putting out ‘misleading’ advertisements, Patanjali Wellness run by Baba Ramdev has triggered yet another controversy after it ran half-page advertisements in newspapers claiming that the brand’s traditional medicines can cure several ailments such as type 1 diabetes, thyroid, and asthma. The advertisement titled –  ‘Misconceptions spread by Allopathy’ – was rubbished by several senior doctors, terming it to be “misleading” and “blatantly false”. 

Claiming that life has become “hell” for people who have been taking allopathic medicines for years to treat ailments like blood pressure (BP), diabetes, and thyroid, Patanjali, advertises that through “scientific research” they have successfully managed to root out these diseases, making crores of people “free from all diseases”. 

What baffled doctors the most was the tall claim that Patanjali was successful in completely curing type 1 diabetes “for the first time in the world”. There is no known medically verified cure for it as of today, but the ad claims that diabetes can be cured using an “integrated treatment”, as well as a balanced diet.

Taking to Twitter, Dr V Mohan, a Padma Shri awardee and Chairman of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, urged people with type 1 diabetes to not be misled by the advertisement. Sharing the photo of the advertisement, Dr Mohan said, “It is risky to your life if you stop Insulin. As of now there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Insulin is life-saving. Please continue it”.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition where a person’s pancreas fails to produce the insulin hormone, which helps sugar (glucose) to enter the cells of the body to produce energy. 

Among the various other doctors to call out the Patanjali ad was Dr Ambrish Mithal, Chairman of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Max healthcare. “Most statements in this ad are blatantly false. But some are downright dangerous. Curing type 1 #diabetes? Leaving insulin?? Request all type 1 DM NOT to give up #INSULIN. It can be fatal,” he tweeted. 

This is not the first time that Patanjali Wellness is publishing such an advertisement, claiming to have a cure for various ailments. Earlier in July this year, the company ran advertisements in several leading English dailies in India, claiming that it could treat some of India’s major non-communicable diseases. 

In an article by Vasudevan Mukunth for The Wire, it was reported that the Patanjali ad violates two laws: The Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act 1954. As per Part IX, Rule 106(1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, “No drug may purport or claim to prevent or cure or may convey to the intending user thereof any idea that it may prevent or cure one or more of the diseases or ailments specified in Schedule J.” 

Meanwhile, in November this year, the Uttarakhand Ayurveda and Unani Licensing Authority directed Divya Pharmacy, the maker of Patanjali products to stop the production of some of its medicines which are falsely being promoted for the treatment of diabetes, blood pressure, glaucoma, and cholesterol. Prior to this in September, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) had also asked Patanjali to take down advertisements promising cures for various ailments.

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